Hitmakers: Inside the Brill Building


Hitmakers, appropriately, starts off to the tune of the Drifters classic “This Magic Moment,” which was written by the Brill Building team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. The in-depth documentary then details one of the most fertile periods of American popular music – and a singles-driven market where super-talented teens could write a song one day, demo it the next, and see it released two weeks later.

It has come to be known as “Brill Building Pop,” but it encompasses doo-wop, R&B, and particularly the “girl group” rock’n'roll era so closely associated with legendary indie labels like Scepter and Red Bird – and, of course, the Brill Building songwriters, including renowned producers Phil Spector and Shadow Morton.

As Stoller notes, the Brill Building was “filled with music publishers, copyists, bandleaders, little mini-recording studios for demos, offices, and so on. There were offices [with] pay phones on the wall, because they didn’t have enough credit for a phone line – and guys whose offices were the phone booths on the street at 50th and Broadway. But there was a real community.”

Source: Billboard

A two-hour A&E special.